In a recent disagreement between two massive Hollywood stars, Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Maher, Whoopi Goldberg suggested that people who disagree with her should be ‘re-educated.’
Re-educating people who do not feel the way you think they should is not a new idea. It has been a common practice in China since the Communist revolution of 1949 and still continues today.
The disagreement happened when Bill Maher suggested that America should not have two national anthems – one for Americans and a separate one for black Americans. Goldberg immediately responded to Maher by saying, “I think because we have gone backwards a good 10-15 years, we’re having to re-educate people.”
“Maybe people don’t feel like that,” Whoopi said in regards to people who do not agree with her, “but I feel like we need to re-educate and retell people.”
This is a teachable moment that Christians should use to learn from our Chinese brothers and sisters.
Whoopi did not use the term ‘re-education’ as a simple desire to persuade people. Whoopi’s passionate plea was that people do not agree with her because they lack ‘correct’ knowledge and need to be “re-educated.” This has been a strong Communist stance in China for several generations and a great many Christians have suffered because of it.
When Pastor Zhang Rongliang, pastor of one of the largest church networks in China, refused to deny Jesus he was sent to a re-education camp. The Chinese government felt that Pastor Zhang would change his mind if he were only re-educated. His story of torture in a re-education camp can be found here.
In the second half of the twentieth century, tens of millions of people were sent to re-education camps by Mao Zedong. Millions did not make it out. Even the top political leaders of China that did not have the right “thinking” were sent to re-education camps to be re-taught the right way to think. Many of them died in their re-education process.
This idea of re-education continues today in China and it is harmful when it is promoted by respected entertainers like Whoopi Goldberg. In one report, as many as eight million people are locked away in ‘re-education’ camps, where they are taught the right way to think and the right way to speak.
The danger of Whoopi Goldberg’s comments in regards to re-educating people did not escape Bill Maher. He replied, “The program ‘The View’ last week devoted a lot of time to this while somehow avoiding what I actually said,” Maher said on his late night show. “It seemed to be a lot about a need to school me about the Black national anthem itself. Whoopi Goldberg said, quote, ‘We’re having to re-educate people.’ Because nothing ever goes wrong when you start talking about re-education. Just ask Chairman Mao. Maybe we can set up some sort of camps.”
For those who would like to read more about China’s re-education camps, we have two first hand accounts that are shared in I STAND WITH CHRIST and KIDNAPPED BY A CULT. You can find them below: